Written by 11:07 am Travel

THE NEW, NEW NORMAL: Emergency orders fall away, and new COVID rules take effect

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As the general public state of emergency expires, new laws on the management of the pandemic and requirements for residents got here into effect today that largely mandates similar health protocols.

 

Based on the Health Services (COVID-19)(General) Rules, 2021, the minister is empowered to take all steps to protect against the spread of the virus, including imposing restrictions, implementing containment measures, and prohibiting entry into the country, or issuing a travel ban.

 

Imposed health measures include maintaining social distancing of six feet, wearing a facial mask, and taxis, private or public bus services operating at 50 percent of normal seating capability.

 

Under the foundations, the operator of an aircraft or vessel entering the national and transporting passenger must ensure requirements related to travel have been adhered to, including vaccination, testing, and travel visas where travel originates outside of The Bahamas.

 

Authorities may issue notices to seem in court if the foundations are breached, however the offender can avoid proceedings by signing the notice and paying a hard and fast penalty nice to the clerk of the magistrate’s court.

 

Not wearing a facial mask incurs a $250 nice.

 

Violating quarantine incurs a $500 nice, and entering a restaurant or attending a social gathering in contravention to the foundations on the utmost requirements and vaccination policy face a $250 nice.

 

Businesses that fail to implement these restrictions on a primary offense face a $2,000 nice and upon a second offense, a $10,000 nice.

 

Falsified COVID testing results carry a $4,000 nice and/or two years in prison, while falsified vaccination results would lead to a $10,000 and/or two years in prison, upon conviction.

 

Travel

 

Vaccinated travelers must take a COVID-19 test five days before travel, while those that haven’t been fully vaccinated must undergo an RT-PCR test.

 

Children between five and 11, who’ve yet to be approved for vaccination, must also undergo a COVID-19 test not more than five days before travel.

 

Inter-island travel for fully vaccinated travelers requires a rapid antigen test of RT PCR test and proof of vaccination, and for many who haven’t been fully vaccinated, an RT PCR test or proof of exemption from the requirement. 

 

For instance, when someone travels from The Bahamas and returns inside 24-hours, the traveler won’t be required to under a new COVID test to return to the country.

 

This also applies to inter-island travel.

 

The federal government yesterday urged the general public to exercise discipline and self-governance while defending the choice to permit sectors of the economy to rebound.

 

A nightly curfew has existed in New Windfall and plenty of other islands since March 2020 with additional restrictions surrounding bars, nightclubs, and other nighttime venues. 

 

The curfew and emergency orders expired today.

 

Travelers who haven’t been fully vaccinated must also undergo a rapid antigen test on the fifth day of stay.

 

Based on the orders, the pinnacle of the household or nearest relative is remitted to tell a medical practitioner if a resident of that household displays symptoms, or is suspected to have COVID-19. 

 

Businesses could have a grace period of 21 days from the date of commencement to proceed to operate before compliance with the necessities.

 

Churches may conduct religious instruction, weddings and funerals in accordance with the protocols established by the Bahamas Christian Council.

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